Originally created 08/25/02

Pocket change



EMPLOYER SPOTLIGHT

QUEBECOR WORLD

LOCATION: Evans to Locks Road, Evans

PRODUCT: Rotogravure-printed catalogs

LOCAL EMPLOYEES: 625 full-time/150 temporary (approximate)

OWNERSHIP: Quebecor World Inc. of Montreal

HISTORY: The 650,000-square-foot commercial printing facility was built in 1981 by W.F. Hall Printing Co. but was later acquired by World Color Press. Quebecor Printing acquired World Color in 1999 and changed its name to Quebecor World, which provides commercial printing, graphics services and photography for its global clients.

The Augusta printing plant, the third-largest private-sector employer in Columbia County, produces catalogs for companies such as Victoria's Secret and L.L. Bean.

RECENT NEWS: The facility is in the middle of a $35 million expansion that will create 100 new jobs and 17,000 square feet of floor space that will house a new rotogravure press and three saddle stitch machines.

The expansion is the result of a long-term contract to produce catalogs for Lane Bryant owner Brylane Inc., which also owns Lerner and Chadwick's of Boston.

BIZ BITES

Still all right by me

Despite the plethora of corporate accounting scandals, indictments for insider trading and other work place malaise, a new survey finds that workers' trust in corporate leaders remains strong.

In an online poll of 1,400 people, CareerBuilder found that 52 percent said their corporate bosses remained trustworthy, a figure that was unchanged from a similar poll done a year ago. Also unchanged from a year ago was the 51 percent of workers who believe their bosses did a good job keeping staff members informed about their company's overall plans, meeting objectives and future goals.

Fifty-seven percent of supervisors, managers, directors and vice presidents said their bosses were trustworthy, while 50 percent of lower-level staffers said the same. A higher percentage of men - 54 percent - trusted their corporate bosses more than women did (52 percent).

FTC cracks down on physicians

Last week federal regulators settled price-fixing charges against doctors groups in Texas and Colorado, part of an increased effort to combat health care practices that drive up costs for patients.

The Texas settlement involves System Health Providers and its parent company, Genesis Physicians Group Inc., which represent about 1,300 doctors in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The other case concerns eight Denver doctors groups specializing in obstetrics and gynecology.

The Federal Trade Commission accused the groups of violating antitrust law by collectively bargaining to set fees and contract terms with insurance companies, limiting competition and causing prices to rise for health plans, employers and patients.

The FTC said it is also investigating possible anticompetitive actions by insurance companies, hospitals and other physician groups.

BIZ 101

What's a holding company?

A "holding company" is a company whose principal assets are the securities it owns in companies that provide goods or services. The usual reason for forming a holding company is to enable one corporation and its directors to control several companies by holding the majority of their stock.

Generation X is doing well

Generation Xers, the 52 million Americans born from 1967 to 1981, are generally financially astute and well prepared to weather - and even benefit from - the current financial downturn, according to the 2nd Annual GenX Survey conducted by New York Life Investment Management LLC.

The survey of 530 Gen Xers found most of them began saving early and, as a result, 69 percent expect their standard of living in retirement to be greater than their parents'.

The majority of Generation X's wealth comes from their salary as opposed to stock options or inheritance. Sixty percent of those surveyed said their net worth (on average about $117,000) was made by working, up 43 percent from 2001.

Realtors' services not always needed

The National Association of Realtors was generally pleased with the results of its latest survey of homebuyers and sellers - with one big exception.

NAR officials note in a newly released survey that people earning more than $70,000 a year are as likely to try to sell their home without the aid of a broker than those who do.

Of those attempting to sell on their own, the report said, 42 percent had incomes between $70,000 and $125,000. That's about the same percentage as for those in the same bracket selling through a broker.

NAR also notes that 27 percent of those trying to sell on their own were 35 to 44, which is "a prime segment of the market."

GOOD TIP

Stay vested in stocks

Chicago research firm Ibbotson Associates Inc. took a look at the past two decades worth of stock market data. Ibbotson found that every dollar invested monthly in 1981 in the Standard & Poor's 500, using total returns, would have been worth $17.06 in 2001.

If, on the other hand, that dollar had been pulled out for just 20 months during those two decades - the best 20 months for the market - it would have been worth only $3.06.